Belize stands out from other destinations mainly because of the vast unexplored remnants of Mayan culture. Apart from the Mayan ruins the country also is renowned for its rain forests, jungles, mountains, vibrant beaches, diving spots, hiking trails and cave systems.
Belize is a country in Central America which is located in the southern tip of North America. The usage of Central America can sometimes be confusing and often people mistake it to be a continent but the truth is Central America is the isthmus portion of the continent of North America that connects with South America. Belize was formerly a colony of British Honduras and is the only country in Central America without a coastline on the Pacific Ocean, has a coastline on the Caribbean Sea in the east.
US travellers need not secure a visa to visit Belize, if you are a US citizen all that requires is a valid US blue passport, a flight ticket and a valid TSA document such as US Driver’s license for proof of identity to fly out from the US. Belize comes under the realm of common wealth and is ruled by the monarchy of England. Belize’s tourism started growing post 1981 after it gained independence from the British rule. English is widely spoken by the local inhabitants and so foreign tourists from Europe and America will not face any problems with communication.
Getting around Belize
When you are flying into Belize you’ll be landing in Phillip Goldson International Airport (BZE). For getting around the city you have plenty of modes like Flight, Bus, Water taxi and Car. The best way to get around the places is using a combination of all the modes listed, I recommend using the flight mode for getting to the nearby barren islands in the north: Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker. The good news is Belize is not a densely populated country and so you will not face any traffic gridlocks while getting around the country. Using water taxi to travel from city to city can also be thrilling, I recommend using The San Pedro Belize Express that has daily water taxi operations between brown sugar terminal in Belize City to San Pedro and Caye Caulker. Sometimes renting out a car may workout better for you if you want to hit the country side on your own, you could rent one for as low as $80 per day. You’ll be finding a lot of car rental agencies at the international airport and within the city. The only thing to keep in mind is that in Belize the manual cars with gears are most widely used by the people of this country so you mustn’t be surprised if the car rental agency gives you only one option of renting a manual transmission car, however finding automatic transmission cars in the country is not very difficult and this may require some serious surfing on the net! Another valuable piece of advice to you when you are renting out a car make sure you insist on a 4 wheel drive as most roads in Belize are bumpy.
And now we will be listing out the sightseeing attractions in Belize
For your Mayan excavations you must start at San Ignacio, a small town in the Cayo District of Western Belize on the banks of Macal River. Most hotels in San Ignacio have guided tour offers for exploring the Mayan ruins that include transport and free entry to the sites. Just choose the right tour that fits your convenience, so San Ignacio is your gateway to the Mayan ruins. These ruins of the Mayan civilization include ruins of Mayan temples, underground ritual chambers and art repositories of carvings, paintings and sculptures. Some of the best Mayan sites that you must tour are
- Xunantunich– This is an ancient Mayan archaeological site that is home to 1) El Castilo, a Mayan Temple, 2) Structure A1, a plaza and 3) Burial chamber. It’s interesting to learn that “xunantunich” in the Mayan language means stone woman and it is believed that the ghost of the stone woman inhabits this Mayan archaeological site!
- Caracol– This is a Mayan archealogical site, contains the main pyramid and is the tallest structure in the Belize region
- Actun Tunichil Muknul (ATM cave)– This is a cave that contains several Mayan skeletons, ceramics and stone ware and it is not a Mayan structure.
- Altun Ha– This is a site that contains ruins of a Mayan city, two central plazas and mid-sized pyramids and is easily accessible from the Belize City
Beaches in Belize
Belize has a bunch of serene beaches for spending relaxed moments on the warm sands with hot sun beating down. Most beaches are calm and serene with crystal clear waters and coconut trees spread all over the shoreline. A must do thing for you on these beaches is sun-bathing on a hammock tied between two coconut trees. For your fun activities you can think of swimming, snorkelling, diving and kayaking in the crystal clear waters of the beaches. The best beaches in Belize can be found in Ambergris Caye (island), Caye Caulker (island) and Placencia (peninsula). It’s worth a mention that Belize is world famous for its diving spots, your trip to Belize is incomplete if you don’t do Scuba diving for exploring the underwater life of the seabed in the Belize region.
Jaguar Preserve (Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary)
During your holiday to Belize touring the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife sanctuary is a must-do thing for you. The starting point for you is the Mayan City, there are numerous buses operating to the Mayan City from Belize City. From the launch point you can get into a tour bus to take you to Belize’s top tourist attraction- Jaguar Preserve or alternatively you can hike on the jungle trail to reach the sanctuary where you will be sighting several Jaguars. The entry fee is $10, and for camping you need to pay $5 per day, for renting out a dorm you pay $20 per day and if you want a whole cabin because you are in a group you will be paying $40 to $50 as rent per day. The best part about spending the night in the cabins is they come with cooking equipment and utensils for cooking your own food, the sanctuary will not provide any food or groceries you need to get your own stocks of groceries and food from outside.